UN Human Rights Council concludes urgent debate on racism and police brutality


The UN Human Right Council has concluded on Thursday the urgent debate on racism and police brutality in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in the United States.

The proposal for the urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests was made by a group of African countries led by Burkina Faso.

During the urgent debate, speakers expressed solidarity with and deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd.

History had proven that when allowed to take root, racism damaged societies for generations.  Colonial institutions, as historically employed by Europe in Africa to perpetuate marginalization, social exclusion and economic inequalities, were cited as root causes by speakers.

Since systemic racism was a result of colonialism and slavery, fighting it must mean also coming to terms with these root causes.

Speakers noted that this urgent debate on systematic racism and police brutality against people of African descent should engender a collaborative approach with civil society to tackle these complex issues.

Speakers urged the Council to retain the focus of the proposed commission of inquiry specifically on the killing of George Floyd, police brutality and institutional racial discrimination within United States police.

The creation of a second thematic international commission of inquiry to investigate systemic racism and police brutality globally was also encouraged.

The urgent debate started on Wednesday, June 17. Voting on a draft resolution on the urgent debate was postponed to a later date. (Source: OHCHR)